Here Are Some Good Reasons To Replace Your Old Garage Door Opener

Garage doors are fairly simple mechanisms that will last for years, but they won’t last forever. Here are some signs that it might be time to replace your garage door opener.

You Don’t Have a Safety Reversal Feature

Since 1993, all garage door openers are required to have a safety reversal feature. This mechanism relies on a beam between two sensors located about six inches above the floor on either side of the door. If anything breaks this beam while the garage door is lowering, the door immediately reverses. If your garage door opener doesn’t have this feature, consider buying a new model.

Your Garage Door Opener is Too Loud

Any device with moving parts is bound to make at least a little noise, but modern garage door openers are designed to be as quiet as possible. If your current garage door opener is making too much noise when it works, invest in a screw drive or belt drive model as these will be a lot quieter than the older chain drive models.

You Don’t Have a Rolling Code for Your Garage Door Opener

The remote controls of older garage door openers functioned with fixed codes that could be cracked by savvy thieves, making them major security risks. Newer models utilize a rolling code that changes every time your remote control is used. Since they’re so much harder to duplicate, they’re much safer than older models.

You Don’t Have a Battery Backup

Older garage door openers were all but impossible to use if there was a power outage. Homeowners were completely blocked from using their garages when they didn’t have power, but modern garage door openers have a battery backup system that will let you at least open your garage door and drive somewhere else if you lost power.

Contact Bailey Garage Doors today for all of your garage door opener and garage door needs.

Why do I need a backup battery for my garage door opener?

If you’ve ever suffered from a home power failure, you know that they are incredibly inconvenient. This is especially true if you’ve ever lost power in your home and not been able to open your garage door. In these cases, a backup battery for your garage door might be the perfect solution.

What is a Backup Battery?

A garage door backup battery is a small, 12-volt battery that will operate your garage door in the event of a power outage. The top garage door brands that now offer this option include Genie, LiftMaster, Mastercraft, Linear, and Chamberlain.

Most of these garage door systems have the backup battery inside the motor housing, and a few have the battery sitting on top. When there is a power failure, your system should continue working for as long as 24 hours as long as your battery is fully-charged.

Why a Backup Battery For Your Garage Door Makes Sense

Even if you don’t have a backup battery with your current garage door system, you can either add one or purchase a new system with an integrated battery.  A backup battery in your garage door is a good idea for several reasons.

  • Bad weather: You are no longer at the mercy of the weather and potential blackouts or brownouts.
  • Emergencies: If you have any sort of emergency when there is a power outage, you can still get out of your garage.
  • Fire: If a fire in your home knocks out electricity, your battery backup will allow you to open your garage door.

Keeping Your Backup Battery in Top Shape

Once you have your backup battery installed, you’ll want to make sure that it remains fully charged and functional so that it will work when you need it. Your garage door opener may have a warning signal that tells you when battery life is low. If not, unplug your garage door and test your backup system every few months just to be safe.  Fully recharging a backup battery should take about four hours.

Contact Bailey Garage Doors today for all of your garage door needs!

What You Didn’t Know About Today’s Garage Doors

Garage doors aren’t an everyday purchase, so it may be as many as fifteen years since you’ve looked at garage door options. This newer generation of garage doors is stronger, better insulated, and more secure than their forebears. They also require a lot less maintenance while giving you broader choices in just about every area.

Materials

Garage doors in the “old days” were often made from wood. Now, most are made from steel backed with insulation. Steel panels range from 24 gauge (the strongest) to 28 gauge, and most are embossed with a subtle pattern or smooth finish. Baked-on primer and a polyester topcoat are two things to look for if you want the maximum rust protection available. Warranties on steel garage doors start at 10 years.

Plastic is an even newer option and may become the most popular one. Like their steel counterparts, plastic garage doors are lightweight and durable with minimal routine upkeep. Unlike the older wooden doors, and even newer steel ones, they aren’t subject to rot or corrosion. Plastic doors also have the advantage of operating much more quietly than doors made from other materials. Plastic doors can carry a warranty of 20 years or more.

Insulation

An insulated garage door is the optimal choice for homeowners in areas of the country that experience three or four seasons. If your garage is attached to your house, or if you have living space attached to your garage, you’ll also want to consider an insulated door. It helps cut down on cold, tamps down noise, and makes the door more immune to denting. Newer model garage doors have what is essentially a steel door “sandwich” – thick layers of steel on the outside with a core of insulation. A thin steel or plastic backing attaches the insulation to the outer steel layers. This “sandwich” construction makes for a very strong but lightweight garage door.

Style

A garage door can make up a significant portion of your house’s exterior. Every major garage door manufacturer offers a range of style options. From basic panels to more decorative ones, you can choose the elements that work with your budget and home style. Even color options have been updated. Where you used to have to choose from basic, light neutrals, many companies are now offering deeper colors and a more refined color palate. If none of the many options are quite what you’re looking for, a custom garage door design can be ordered from most companies.

Contact Bailey Garage Doors today for all of your garage door needs!

Garage Door Safety

The garage door can be responsible for protecting some of the most valuable or valued things in our home: woodworking workshops and other tools, motorcycles and half rebuilt cars, or maybe even just a place to store our memories, the garage is an important area of the home. Because most garage doors are so big and seem so solid, this is an area of the home that people often overlook to protect. Burglars can enter the garage just like they can any other part of the home. A few simple precautions will prohibit most burglaries to the garage from happening.

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Garage doors are opened daily, and, unlike the rest of our home, when the garage door is opened anyone with a view from the street is aware of the things we keep in the garage. People often forget to close the garage door when they leave, or maybe they have a forgetful teenager to blame, either way, keeping that door closed is paramount to prevent any crimes of opportunity from taking place. Your garage door technician can install a timer that will close your garage door for you after a predetermined amount of time. This will not forgo the safety mechanism put in place on the garage door like the garage door safety sensors, which prevent any accidental closure on people or objects (assuming that the safety sensors are working correctly). The timer has an override option if you wish for the door to remain open while you work, clean, etc.

When you are going on vacation, you should unplug your garage door opener. And, with the opener unplugged, you can put a padlock on the latch or run a metal bolt through a hole in the track to ensure that the door will not be opened from the outside.

Another thing that many people forget about is the garage door opener on the visor of their vehicle. That opener is hidden behind just a pane of glass. Remember to take the opener in the house with you, especially removing it from the vehicle if you are on vacation and the vehicle is going to be parked outside of the home.

 

 

 

Common Garage Door Problems In The Winter

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The cold weather of winter is here. The snow is on the ground, people are out shopping in stores that play jingle bells on continuous, others tether bright flashing lights from their rain gutters and plant a big light up Santa with Reindeer in the yard. The beginning of winter means the cheery holiday season, but it can also have far less cheery connotations for your home’s garage doors. Cold weather is a likely culprit for garage door failure. Cold temperatures—below 35 degrees—can cause the oil that lubricates the garage door motor to thicken and the motor could seize. Also, cold weather could cause the metal parts that make a garage door function—leaf springs, screws, tracks, and other metal components—seize up, because the cold air cause the metal parts to contract. Also, a Garage doors springs have a good likelihood of breaking during the cold months.

Another common issue in winter is the possible fogging of the Garage Door sensors (sensors that project a beam of light, that, when broken, stalls out the descent of the garage door to prevent accidental closure on a person or things). Make sure that the sensors are fog free and also that everything is out of the path of the sensors. Often, people have a tendency to keep items like the snow shovel near the front of the garage for easy access.

Also, when the weather is warmer during the day and the snow and ice melt, water can get under the garage door and refreeze as soon as the temperatures drop back down. This can freeze the garage door down onto the pavement. The door may still open when the opener is pressed, but the ice may tear away the seal at the bottom of the door. This component can be replaced and, or, if its undamaged, put back into place. Make sure before you open the door that the door is not frozen down. you wouldn’t want to be caught in the predicament of having to leave an open, damaged garage door.  If you are experiencing garage door problems this winter, please contact Bailey Garage Doors today!

CHI Garage Doors

Bailey Garage Doors sells and installs CHI Garage Doors. CHI has a plethora of design options for garage doors that range from dark, dramatic stained wood to the whimsical logo of your favorite baseball team.   Needless to say, today’s homeowner has many, many stylistic options to increase curb appeal or possibly display his or her personality with prominence.

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Wood garage doors are beautiful, although garage doors made entirely of wood do require upkeep, and are not as durable as doors built of steel. Wood Accent Garage doors, by CHI, provide the natural look of wood, giving your home that curbside look of sophistication and warmth, although the doors are not made entirely of wood. The Accents Wood Grain finishes make the door appear as if it is made of wood, but it is entirely built of steel. This allows the homeowner to have the best of both worlds, in a sense: the look of wood and the durability of steel. The Wood Accent Garage Door is available in the colors: Cedar, Mahogany, Light Oak, and Dark Oak. CHI also offers a wood plank look, which is available in the same four different color options as the Accents Wood Grain finished doors.

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CHI Garage Doors also makes garage doors with a displayed image. These images allow the homeowner to display their true personality. The images are based on the following four categories: Destinations, Patriotic, Sportsman, and Patterns. In the category of the Sportsman, for instance, you will find an image of a golf scene: serene, bright green fairway with the putting green, pin, and hole shown far in the distance, or an image of dawn on a lake and two men (seen only as black outlines in the new morning light) are casting fishing poles from a boat out into the lake. The Patriotic images include American Flags, and bald eagles, while the Pattern option has unique designs and even camouflage. CHI can also place your favorite Major League Baseball team’s logo on the front of the garage door, so the rest of the neighborhood will have little doubt to which team you cheer for.

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Garage Door Opener Maintenance

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Like any major appliance in the home the garage door and the garage door opener should be regularly maintained to prevent poor service or possible failure. To begin maintenance, tell everyone in the home your plan to work on the garage door or opener to prevent any possible injury. The first step to garage door maintenance is simple: stand inside the garage with the garage door closed; inspect the springs, rollers, pulleys and all of the mounting hardware for both the garage door and the opener. If there are any signs of damage or noticeable wear to these components, it may be time to call your garage door professional to replace the damaged or worn components (Remember garage doors are held up under a lot of tension, and a trained professional should be called to replace damaged hardware to prevent any possible injury to the homeowner).

The balance of the garage door should also be regularly checked to ensure the garage door is opening and closing with no resistance along its track. With the garage door closed, disconnect the automatic door opener, and, with the automatic door opener disconnected, lift the garage door manually into an open position. If the door moves smoothly and freely into the upward position, the door is in alignment. If, however, the door catches and drags on the rails, a trained garage door technician should properly service the door.

The garage door’s reversing mechanism – devices which have been added to all garage doors built after 1993 and are responsible for the prevention of the possible entrapment of a person under the garage door – should also be tested regularly. To test the door’s reversing mechanism, open the garage door and place a two by four on the garage floor directly in the path of the garage door. With the two by four in place, close the garage door onto it. When the garage door falls on the two by four and makes contact, the garage door should retreat back up on the track into the open position. If the door does not immediately retract, call your garage door service technician to fix the reversing mechanism.

On a final note, a small amount of lubrication can be added to all of the garage doors moving parts. Make sure that the garage door is either in a fully opened or closed position while working on the garage door, and stand clear of the garage door and all of the moving parts when the garage door is activated.

Why You May Need A New Garage Door

While a new garage door may not seem like a wise investment for your home (your garage door works just fine and if its not broke why fix it right?) and the new doors being built today, at least on the outside, appear to look just like your old trusty garage door; take a closer look, because they are much more improved. For instance, today’s garage doors, at least most models, are made of steel, and that steel is backed by high rigid foam insulation. This means that these new doors are considerably better insulating then their predecessors. Most new garage doors also have a baked on primer and polyester topcoat, and, while those terms seem like industry jargon to the average homeowner, the terms mean that the garage doors that are coated in these materials will have a great amount of rust protection.

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If in your home you have a room above the garage, and many of today’s newly constructed homes do include a room above the garage, an insulated garage door makes perfect sense. A well insulated steel door will both help keep out the cold, and, because of the doors rigidity, it will have considerably less vibration when the door is raised or lowered.

Safety is another issue with garage doors, especially in homes where children are at play, running in and out of the garage. Legislation backed by the federal government requires all new garage doors to include safety additions like an automatic reverse. The automatic reverse functions exactly as it sounds: if something comes in contact with the edge of the garage door, then the door will quit its decent downwards and retract back up into the track. Also, new doors are equipped with a laser eye system, and this system, which is comprised of two small boxes placed on either side of the garage door that emit a light beam between them, to send a closing garage door back up into the tracks when the beam of light is broken.

Also, the newer garage doors, with their numerous designs, add significant curb appeal to any home. Newer window treatments for garage doors, for the homeowner who wants to add them, also add significant style to the home.

Garage Door Openers

Not all garage door openers operate the same. The opener is one way for the homeowner to customize their own garage door to their needs. Bailey Garage Doors carries three types of garage door openers: Screw Drive, Chain Drive, and Belt Drive openers. Bailey Garage Doors also carries the standard models as well as the premium and high-performance models. All of our models of openers are equipped with PosiLock, which secures the door when it is down, preventing intruders from opening the garage door from the outside. And, all of our openers come with the Protector System, which projects a beam of light under the door, and if anything breaks that beam, the door will not close, preventing the door from falling on a person or object.  garage door openers billings mt

The screw drive opener rides on a trolley that moves up and down a steel rod. The screw drive openers operate with much less force than other models. There are many advantages to the screw drive openers, and the main advantage is its simplicity. There are very few moving parts that the homeowner will need to maintain over the life of the opener.

Chain Drive openers are the most common and oldest of the garage door openers. The opener operates the door up and down by turning a chain (similar in appearance and operation to a bicycle chain) with one end of the chain connected to a part called the J-Arm, which is attached to the garage door itself, with the other end attached to the trolley. Chain drives are also the most economical garage door opener, and, while older chain drive garage door openers were loud, newer technology has quieted the starting and stopping motion of these openers.

Belt Drives are the quietest of the openers, and they operate in the same way as the chain drive openers. Instead of the chain, a belt is used. The belt drive has a sleek appearance, and, because the belt itself is made of a fiberglass, reinforced rubber, the vibrations caused from starting and stopping the garage door is greatly reduced.

All garage doors openers have pros and cons, and a homeowner should give preference to which opener fits both his lifestyle and his style.

Garage Door Safety Sensors

Garage doors require several electronic components to operate, and when these components age they may need to be serviced. Bailey Garage Doors is one of the leading garage door sales in Montana, and while the garage door is a reliable addition in any home, it receives significant use. In all things with mechanical components, those components will need to be serviced at some point. One of the most common serviceable components for a garage door is the safety sensor. These sensors prevent the garage door from closing upon a person or an item that has been placed under the path of the closing door. garage door safety sensors billings mt

A common sign that the sensors need to be serviced or replaced occurs when the garage door will open properly by touching the wall switch, but when the switch is pressed to close the garage door, the door will start down the track a short distance and then retreat back into an open position. Holding down the switch may close a garage door with a faulty sensor, although the sensors will no longer prevent the door from closing upon someone or something.

Trouble Shooting

The garage can be a dusty place, and when dust covers the sensor it may not work properly. If the sensor appears dirty, wipe it clean with a clean cloth or paper towel. Another common problem with safety sensors is misalignment. The garage is a very busy place in any home, and these sensors can easily go unnoticed. If a person or object bumps the sensor, it may fall out of alignment. If one sensor is no longer pointed toward the matching sensor, it may need to be realigned. If any wires are showing around the sensor, or if the sensor appears to be damaged, you will need to call a professional to service the broken sensor.

Service

Bailey Garage Doors is proud to be one of Montana’s best garage door companies because of our reputation for quality. Our knowledgeable staff can fix any garage door issue you may have and our large inventory of parts can ensure that we have the part that you need.